One of the first times I became familiar with magnesium was lifting weights at the gym after a second or third tough session. Because of the bans, that seems like a long time ago.
My new trainer advised me to buy a tub of Epsom salts (rich in magnesium that goes straight into the bloodstream through the skin) and stick it in my bath for a long soak that evening. I slept like a baby and found my muscles recovered faster than before. He said I was getting addicted. How right he was; I am now buying the largest tub they have and the rest of my family regularly bathe in the salts. This blog lists the 4 top magnesium benefits for your health. To be honest, you shouldn't ignore them because they are so important.
1) Magnesium helps protect your heart
Correct magnesium levels can reduce the risk of an irregular heartbeat, heart disease, and even a heart attack. Magnesium relaxes the walls of your blood vessels and this can help keep your blood pressure down. It can also help increase your HDL, or "good" cholesterol levels. One study looked at 88,375 nurses in the United States to determine whether magnesium levels – seen in blood tests and also recorded in food intake – had been linked to sudden cardiac death over a 26-year period. The fascinating results showed that women had a 34% and 77% lower risk of sudden cardiac death in the highest compared to the lowest quartile, respectively. Read our 8 tips for heart health here.
2) Magnesium Reduces Your Risk Of Diabetes
Diets with higher amounts of magnesium are associated with a significantly lower risk of diabetes, possibly due to magnesium's important role in glucose metabolism. Magnesium helps insulin work better. Insulin is a hormone that helps keep our blood sugar levels constant. In one study, people who consumed the most magnesium in their diet were less likely to develop the disease than those who consumed the least. See Type II Diabetes What Your Doctor Won't Tell You.
3) Magnesium strengthens your bones
Magnesium is involved in bone formation. Research suggests that it may also protect against bone loss, broken bones, and the bone disease osteoporosis. Studies show that women with osteoporosis tend to have less magnesium than women who don't. Although the numbers are limited, studies suggest that increasing magnesium intake from foods or supplements could increase bone mineral density in postmenopausal and older women. One short-term study found that taking 290 mg of magnesium per day for 30 days in 20 postmenopausal women with osteoporosis suppressed bone turnover compared to placebo, suggesting that bone loss decreased.
4) Magnesium supports a good sleep
Magnesium is considered to be a helpful sleep aid that is crucial for overall health, but also for weight loss. Magnesium regulates neurotransmitters that send signals throughout the nervous system and brain. It also regulates the hormone melatonin, which controls the sleep-wake cycles in your body. The mineral binds to gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors. GABA is the neurotransmitter responsible for calming nerve activity. By calming the nervous system, magnesium can prepare your body and mind for sleep and also relieve anxiety. Download our free sleep report here.
How much is enough
The recommended values (for adults) are between 300 mg (for women) and 400 mg (for men) per day. However, surveys consistently show that magnesium intake is less than the recommended amounts.
Unfortunately, this mineral is depleted in the foods we eat due to food processing, e.g. For example, by refining grains in a way that removes nutrient-rich germs and bran, and significantly lowers magnesium levels (another argument to avoid white, processed carbohydrates).
Research also shows that poor diet – characterized by high sugar and carbonated beverages, and consumption of processed, refined carbohydrates – actually increases our magnesium needs (as this type of food decreases absorption and increases magnesium excretion by the kidneys). . We also know that stress, too much alcohol consumption, aging and digestive problems can all lead to deficiencies. It is difficult to determine a deficiency, but some signs include;
- Fatigue and weakness
- Loss of appetite
If the magnesium deficiency worsens, numbness, tingling, muscle contractions and cramps, seizures, personality changes, abnormal heart rhythms, and coronary cramps may occur. On the other hand, too much dietary magnesium is usually not a health risk in healthy individuals because the kidneys eliminate excess in the urine. However, high doses of magnesium from supplements or medication can lead to diarrhea, which can be accompanied by nausea and abdominal cramps.
Benefits of Magnesium for Your Health from Food Sources
Some of the richest food sources for magnesium are:
- 1 cup of leafy green vegetables like spinach (about 157 mg)
- 1 tbsp seeds (like pumpkin or chia seeds – approx. 50-90 mg)
- 50 g dark chocolate (115 mg)
- A quarter cup of almonds (90 mg)
- 1 cup cooked brown rice (80 mg)
- 1 cup of soy milk (61 mg)
- 1 cup cooked lentils (70 mg)
- 1 medium avocado (58 mg)
- 2 tbsp peanut butter (50 mg)
One of the easiest ways to increase your intake of this important mineral is to add two handfuls of spinach to your lunch salad or morning smoothie, as this is about half of your daily intake. Another great option is to add half a cup of Epsom salts to the bath as often as possible.
You might consider taking a supplement as well, but it's best to speak with your primary care doctor beforehand, especially since magnesium can interact with some medications, such as estrogen or diuretics. People with impaired kidney function are also generally not advised to take these food supplements.
The benefits of magnesium for your health are obvious and, as I said earlier in this blog post, are too important to ignore.